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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Sky is Falling

Lehman Brothers. Merrill Lynch. As familiar as Coca-Cola and McDonald's. And now, suddenly, no more. It's scarey, sobering stuff. Nothing is sacred.

And while the sky might not be falling, literally, our world has changed in the last couple of weeks and the effects of what has happened in the US are far-reaching. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers, AIG. It's not over yet.

Our company stock fell just shy of 15% since Friday (our markets were closed yesterday for the Mid-Autumn Festival). It will have an effect on us, though our company has a very long-range vision and it will not, most likely, mean cuts just yet. Personal investments are dropping like a stone and what used to be 'enough' as savings, no longer is. There is unknown territory ahead.

The Treasury and Federal Reserve have taken on some weighty issues. More than ever, more than a month ago, the US needs a government in place which can understand and come to terms with what has just happened.

How do my American friends feel about all this? Do you think it will influence the selection in any way? And what does everyone else think?

6 comments:

Fusion said...

Read the last bit of my latest post Fiona. Yeah, I'm watching this over here, and let me tell you, it's no fucking picnic, pardon my french.

I'm very worried at how quickly this is all collapsing. Thankfully I've just about completely paid off my house and I'm debt free.

I think if Obama doesn't win, we'll be in serious trouble, and even if he does, I don't know if he'll be able to fix things. We could be headed toward a depression...

Loving Annie said...

Good Tuesday morning to you, Fiona.

With regard to your comment to me yesterdayy : yes, most definitely yuour mother's smoking and drinking, etc. had an effect on you as a newborn and infant. Whatever she had in her bloodstream when she was pregnant passed through to you via the placenta - and impacted your neurological pathways and physiological responses. Whaever she ingested in her body, was given directly to you as you and your brain were forming.

So your crying as a baby was very likely a withdrawl of sorts as you were literally going 'cold turkey' off what had been in your system for so long.

And then all the emotions that go with that become part of your habit patterns.

So dealing with it during your childhood and teenage years and adult life - you either fall into the pattern or fight it like mad, going exactly the other direction. You either have a craving or an aversion in any one of many areas...

As for the economic situation, in the U.S. I feel as though not only are we in a recession, but an unacknowledged depression whose impact has not yet been acknowledged. And I don't see any light in the tunnel in the neart term (12 months). Our major sectors have no visible demand increasing - not in the service industry, consumer staples, cars, planes, technology, medicine, etc... It is ugly. What happenned in the housing market - the fluff coming out of it - is now happenning in the market in general. This is a fallout from the Reagan years, where all the madness and the overinflated prices started. Now we are paying the price as the fantasy of unending growth crumbles.

It doesn't matter who becomes Presidnet, this is too serious to fix without everyone understanding that you cannot drain a system of resources and then expect the system to provide for you. We have too much debt, too many welfare programs and subsidies, and too much money going to other countries when our own is bleeding.

Maria said...

I just shudder to think of the sort of mess that we are leaving our children...

Fiona said...

Hi John - It does make me wonder what it will be like, when we look back in 3, 6, 12 months. I'm not sure about 'fixing' things either, it seems that money is being printed, with nothing behind it.

Annie - Thank you for your comment about my comment :) I don't believe babies cry and scream for no reason, sadly my mother did. Mind you that's the same person who thought that my brother's attempts to get rid of me, were amusing. Quite honestly, right now, I dont' know why more people aren't scared out of their wits. When I look at people overextending themselves, being roped into 'interest free' periods, I just want to yell out..."there's no such thing as free money"!!! I'm glad I have saved wisely so I have a buffer if something does happen to me. Honestly though, for people who haven't been as fortunate, or who haven't been prudent, things are looking very bleak.

cassee01 said...

As I've heard many times on the news, why does wall street/the rich get bailed out and the regular joe doesn't. There is something so inherently wrong in these bailouts. Yes, not bailing them out is going to cause big problems, but this is just a bandaid on a dam and eventually it's going to break because nothing substantial is holding it up but a printing press.

the last spartan said...

Fiona,

I think that loving annie is absolutely correct. We are not in a recession. This is a bona fide depression. We are looking at massive job losses and debt.

It seems somewhat moronic that in 2008, the United States needs to understand that the housing market failure is because we couldn't figure out that lending large sums of money to people with bad credit ratings and limited ability to pay back the money was, in fact, a bad idea.

The last twenty years in America have been marked by the "ME" generation. The government has been de-regulating like crazy leaving us at the mercy of the businessmen of America. Everyone wants a solution but no one wants to tighten his or her belt to get it.

The Republican paradigm has always been that if you reduce the involvement of government and give breaks to the wealthy then they will (in their great altruism) create more jobs for the lower classes. Well, that simply isn't the answer.

The bailouts for the wealthy are decided by the wealthy using everyone else's money. Meanwhile, we can't provide health coverage for 47 million people.

I don't trust that McCain can fix this but I am not sold on Obama either. A very scary time to be an American.

 

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